Epigenetics & Chromatin

Publisher: BioMed Central

Current impact factor: 5.33

Impact Factor Rankings

2016 Impact Factor Available summer 2017
2014 / 2015 Impact Factor 5.333
2013 Impact Factor 4.462
2012 Impact Factor 4.19
2011 Impact Factor 4.462
2010 Impact Factor 4.731

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 4.63
Cited half-life 2.60
Immediacy index 0.68
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 2.35
Other titles Epigenetics and chromatin
ISSN 1756-8935
OCLC 263688252
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

BioMed Central

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    • All titles are open access journals
    • 'BioMed Central' is an imprint of 'Springer Verlag (Germany)'
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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Regulation of gene expression by histone-modifying enzymes is essential to control cell fate decisions and developmental processes. Two histone-modifying enzymes, RPD3, a deacetylase, and dKDM5/LID, a demethylase, are present in a single complex, coordinated through the SIN3 scaffold protein. While the SIN3 complex has been demonstrated to have functional histone deacetylase activity, the role of the demethylase dKDM5/LID as part of the complex has not been investigated. Results: Here, we analyzed the developmental and transcriptional activities of dKDM5/LID in relation to SIN3. Knockdown of either Sin3A or lid resulted in decreased cell proliferation in S2 cells and wing imaginal discs. Conditional knockdown of either Sin3A or lid resulted in flies that displayed wing developmental defects. Interestingly, overexpression of dKDM5/LID rescued the wing developmental defect due to reduced levels of SIN3 in female flies, indicating a major role for dKDM5/LID in cooperation with SIN3 during development. Together, these observed phenotypes strongly suggest that dKDM5/LID as part of the SIN3 complex can impact previously uncharacterized transcriptional networks. Transcriptome analysis revealed that SIN3 and dKDM5/LID regulate many common genes. While several genes implicated in cell cycle and wing developmental pathways were affected upon altering the level of these chromatin factors, a significant affect was also observed on genes required to mount an effective stress response. Further, under conditions of induced oxidative stress, reduction of SIN3 and/or dKDM5/LID altered the expression of a greater number of genes involved in cell cycle-related processes relative to normal conditions. This highlights an important role for SIN3 and dKDM5/LID proteins to maintain proper progression through the cell cycle in environments of cellular stress. Further, we find that target genes are bound by both SIN3 and dKDM5/LID, however, histone acetylation, not methylation, plays a predominant role in gene regulation by the SIN3 complex. Conclusions: We have provided genetic evidence to demonstrate functional cooperation between the histone demethylase dKDM5/LID and SIN3. Biochemical and transcriptome data further support functional links between these proteins. Together, the data provide a solid framework for analyzing the gene regulatory pathways through which SIN3 and dKDM5/LID control diverse biological processes in the organism.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2016 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Environmental stress-induced transgenerational epigenetic effects have been observed in various model organisms and human. The capacity and mechanism of such phenomena are poorly understood. In C. elegans, siRNA mediates transgenerational gene silencing through the germline nuclear RNAi pathway. This pathway is also required to maintain the germline immortality when C. elegans is under heat stress. However, the underlying molecular mechanism is unknown. In this study, we investigated the impact of heat stress on chromatin, transcription, and siRNAs at the whole-genome level, and whether any of the heat-induced effects is transgenerationally heritable in either the wild-type or the germline nuclear RNAi mutant animals. Results: We performed 12-generation temperature-shift experiments using the wild-type C. elegans and a mutant strain that lacks the germline-specific nuclear Argonaute protein HRDE-1/WAGO-9. By examining the mRNA, small RNA, RNA polymerase II, and H3K9 trimethylation profiles at the whole-genome level, we revealed an epigenetic role of HRDE-1 in repressing heat stress-induced transcriptional activation of over 280 genes. Many of these genes are in or near LTR (long-terminal repeat) retrotransposons. Strikingly, for some of these genes, the heat stress-induced transcriptional activation in the hrde-1 mutant intensifies in the late generations under the heat stress and is heritable for at least two generations after the mutant animals are shifted back to lower temperature. hrde-1 mutation also leads to siRNA expression changes of many genes. This effect on siRNA is dependent on both the temperature and generation. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that a large number of the endogenous targets of the germline nuclear RNAi pathway in C. elegans are sensitive to heat-induced transcriptional activation. This effect at certain genomic loci including LTR retrotransposons is transgenerational. Germline nuclear RNAi antagonizes this temperature effect at the transcriptional level and therefore may play a key role in heat stress response in C. elegans.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2016 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
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    ABSTRACT: The regulation of specific target genes by transcription factors is central to our understanding of gene network control in developmental and physiological processes yet how target specificity is achieved is still poorly understood. This is well illustrated by the Hox family of transcription factors as their limited in vitro DNA-binding specificity contrasts with their clear in vivo functional specificity. We generated genome-wide binding profiles for three Hox proteins, Ubx, Abd-A and Abd-B, following transient expression in Drosophila Kc167 cells, revealing clear target specificity and a striking influence of chromatin accessibility. In the absence of the TALE class homeodomain cofactors Exd and Hth, Ubx and Abd-A bind at a very similar set of target sites in accessible chromatin, whereas Abd-B binds at an additional specific set of targets. Provision of Hox cofactors Exd and Hth considerably modifies the Ubx genome-wide binding profile enabling Ubx to bind at an additional novel set of targets. Both the Abd-B specific targets and the cofactor-dependent Ubx targets are in chromatin that is relatively DNase1 inaccessible prior to the expression of Hox proteins/Hox cofactors. Our experiments demonstrate a strong role for chromatin accessibility in Hox protein binding and suggest that Hox protein competition with nucleosomes has a major role in Hox protein target specificity in vivo.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2016 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Chromatin epigenetics participate in control of gene expression during metazoan development. DNA methylation and post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones have been extensively characterised in cell types present in, or derived from, mouse embryos. In embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from blastocysts, factors involved in deposition of epigenetic marks regulate properties related to self-renewal and pluripotency. In the germ lineage, changes in histone PTMs and DNA demethylation occur during formation of the primordial germ cells (PGCs) to reset the epigenome of the future gametes. Trimethylation of histone H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27me3) by Polycomb group proteins is involved in several epigenome-remodelling steps, but it remains unclear whether these epigenetic features are conserved in non-mammalian vertebrates. To investigate this question, we compared the abundance and nuclear distribution of the main histone PTMs, 5-methylcytosine (5mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) in chicken ESCs, PGCs and blastodermal cells (BCs) with differentiated chicken ESCs and embryonic fibroblasts. In addition, we analysed the expression of chromatin modifier genes to better understand the establishment and dynamics of chromatin epigenetic profiles. Results: The nuclear distributions of most PTMs and 5hmC in chicken stem cells were similar to what has been described for mammalian cells. However, unlike mouse pericentric heterochromatin (PCH), chicken ESC PCH contained high levels of trimethylated histone H3 on lysine 27 (H3K27me3). In differentiated chicken cells, PCH was less enriched in H3K27me3 relative to chromatin overall. In PGCs, the H3K27me3 global level was greatly reduced, whereas the H3K9me3 level was elevated. Most chromatin modifier genes known in mammals were expressed in chicken ESCs, PGCs and BCs. Genes presumably involved in de novo DNA methylation were very highly expressed. DNMT3B and HELLS/SMARCA6 were highly expressed in chicken ESCs, PGCs and BCs compared to differentiated chicken ESCs and embryonic fibroblasts, and DNMT3A was strongly expressed in ESCs, differentiated ESCs and BCs. Conclusions: Chicken ESCs and PGCs differ from their mammalian counterparts with respect to H3K27 methylation. High enrichment of H3K27me3 at PCH is specific to pluripotent cells in chicken. Our results demonstrate that the dynamics in chromatin constitution described during mouse development is not universal to all vertebrate species.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
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    ABSTRACT: The small non-histone protein Heterochromatin protein 1a (HP1a) plays a vital role in packaging chromatin, most notably in forming constitutive heterochromatin at the centromeres and telomeres. A second major chromatin regulating system is that of the Polycomb/trithorax groups of genes which, respectively, maintain the repressed/activated state of euchromatin. Recent analyses suggest they affect the expression of a multitude of genes, beyond the homeotics whose alteration in expression lead to their initial discovery. Our data suggest that early in Drosophila development, HP1a collaborates with the Polycomb/trithorax groups of proteins to regulate gene expression and that the two chromatin systems do not act separately as convention describes. HP1a affects the levels of both the Polycomb complexes and RNA polymerase II at promoters, as assayed by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. Deposition of both the repressive (H3K27me3) and activating (H3K4me3) marks promoted by the Polycomb/trithorax group genes at gene promoters is affected. Additionally, depending on which parent contributes the null mutation of the HP1a gene, the levels of the H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 silencing marks at both promoters and heterochromatin are different. Changes in levels of the H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 repressive marks show a mostly reciprocal nature. The time around the mid-blastula transition, when the zygotic genome begins to be actively transcribed, appears to be a transition/decision point for setting the levels. We find that HP1a, which is normally critical for the formation of constitutive heterochromatin, also affects the generation of the epigenetic marks of the Polycomb/trithorax groups of proteins, chromatin modifiers which are key to maintaining gene expression in euchromatin. At gene promoters, deposition of both the repressive H3K27me3 and activating H3K4me3 marks of histone modifications shows a dependence on HP1a. Around the mid-blastula transition, when the zygotic genome begins to be actively transcribed, a pivotal decision for the level of silencing appears to take place. This is also when the embryo organizes its genome into heterochromatin and euchromatin. A balance between the HP1a and Polycomb group silencing systems appears to be set for the chromatin types that each system will primarily regulate.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
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    ABSTRACT: Phenotypic variability among inbred littermates reared in controlled environments remains poorly understood. Metastable epialleles refer to loci that intrinsically behave in this way and a few examples have been described. They display differential methylation in association with differential expression. For example, inbred mice carrying the agouti viable yellow (A vy ) allele show a range of coat colours associated with different DNA methylation states at the locus. The availability of next-generation sequencing, in particular whole genome sequencing of bisulphite converted DNA, allows us, for the first time, to search for metastable epialleles at base pair resolution. Using whole genome bisulphite sequencing of DNA from the livers of five mice from the A vy colony, we searched for sites at which DNA methylation differed among the mice. A small number of loci, 356, were detected and we call these inter-individual Differentially Methylated Regions, iiDMRs, 55 of which overlap with endogenous retroviral elements (ERVs). Whole genome resequencing of two mice from the colony identified very few differences and these did not occur at or near the iiDMRs. Further work suggested that the majority of ERV iiDMRs are metastable epialleles; the level of methylation was maintained in tissue from other germ layers and the level of mRNA from the neighbouring gene inversely correlated with methylation state. Most iiDMRs that were not overlapping ERV insertions occurred at tissue-specific DMRs and it cannot be ruled out that these are driven by changes in the ratio of cell types in the tissues analysed. Using the most thorough genome-wide profiling technologies for differentially methylated regions, we find very few intrinsically epigenetically variable regions that we term iiDMRs. The most robust of these are at retroviral elements and appear to be metastable epialleles. The non-ERV iiDMRs cannot be described as metastable epialleles at this stage but provide a novel class of variably methylated elements for further study.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Epigenetics & Chromatin
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    ABSTRACT: Background: CREB-binding protein (CBP, also known as nejire) is a transcriptional co-activator that is conserved in metazoans. CBP plays an important role in embryonic development and cell differentiation and mutations in CBP can lead to various diseases in humans. In addition, CBP and the related p300 protein have successfully been used to predict enhancers in both humans and flies when they occur with monomethylation of histone H3 on lysine 4 (H3K4me1). Results: Here, we compare CBP chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data from Drosophila S2 cells with modENCODE data and show that CBP is bound at genomic sites with a wide range of functions. As expected, we find that CBP is bound at active promoters and enhancers. In addition, we find that the strongest CBP sites in the genome are found at Polycomb response elements embedded in histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylated (H3K27me3) chromatin, where they correlate with binding of the Pho repressive complex. Interestingly, we find that CBP also binds to most insulators in the genome. At a subset of these, CBP may regulate insulating activity, measured as the ability to prevent repressive H3K27 methylation from spreading into adjacent chromatin. Conclusions: We conclude that CBP could be involved in a much wider range of functions than has previously been appreciated, including Polycomb repression and insulator activity. In addition, we discuss the possibility that a common role for CBP at all functional elements may be to regulate interactions between distant chromosomal regions and speculate that CBP is controlling higher order chromatin organization.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Epigenetics & Chromatin